I’ve used Mac OSX a few times in my life. But I decided to give it a serious go. I’ve always loved the blend between unix and pretty. I’ve always struggled with my linux desktop not being visually appealing enough. Seems like the best of both worlds.

Writing this for my own future reference. But hopefully someone else will find it useful.

General OSX customization

I had to start out by making a few tweaks.

Changed Scroll Direction

I’m using a normal mouse with a scroll wheel. So the default feels very un-natural.

So I unchecked “Scroll direction: natural” Scroll Direction

Change Modifier keys

I’m using a Logitech keyboard not an apple keyboard.

This took a little figuring out to get right. I mapped the windows key to the command key. Modifier Keys

Auto hide dock

I like the maximum amount of screen space I can get. So of course I hide the dock.

Dock Auto Hide

Hot Corner

I come from the world of Fedora running Gnome3. So i’m very used to seeing everything with a quick flick of the mouse.

Hot Corner

Finder config

Couple of little tweaks I made.

I like having the hard drive icons on my desktop. Its convenient. Finder Desktop

Also like being able to quickly get to my home folder. Finder Sidebar

Screenshot Directory

I take a lot of screenshots. So I don’t want them cluttering my desktop. So I change the folder they are saved to.

First create the directory you want them saved to. I chose ~/Documents/Screenshots

Then run this command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Documents/Screenshots

Then to reload so this takes its followed by:

killall SystemUIServer

For extra convenience I drag the folder into my dock so I have quick access to them.

Screenshots in dock


Alright now to the good stuff.

I set to downloading applications.

Google Chrome

Gotta have my favorite browser.

Download Here


This is an application that allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to quickly snap windows. Very useful

Download Here


My favorite IDE. I love the ability to use css / javascript to customize. Plus it has tons of packages. More on that another time.

Atom Meta

After installing this be sure to open it and install shell commands from the application menu.

Atom Shell Commands

Download Here


Gotta have our vms! This is useful for vagrant / docker / windows vms.

Download Here


Awesome group chat platform like slack / hipchat. Great set of developers. This project is moving very quickly.

It for sure gets my recommendation for group chat in business. Offers you that privacy and control that you want and need.

Check the community out here Download Client Here


Great application to query / view mongodb databases.

Download Here


A little postgres install. Haven’t played with this much. But know I will in the future.

Download Here

Sequel Pro

Great tool for playing with SQL.

Download Here


I bounce back between Spotify and Google Music. If only Google Music had a great desktop app that would actually work.

Download Here


If a video / audio file won’t play anywhere else. This will play it.

Download Here


Quickly becoming my favorite terminal emulator. This is what i’ll use below for setting up my shell.

Download Here


Great application for recording gifs.

Download Here


For those times I need to help friends / family.

Download Here


For those times I need to quickly share my screen.

Download Here


Great deal for quickly setting up virtual macines. A blog post on this is coming soon.

Download Here

Docker toolbox

Love Docker. So this is a must.

Download Here


If you consider your self any sort of power user, this is a must.

Download Here

Terminal Setup

I spend a good portion of my time here. So getting this looking good is important.

Install theme

I use the solarized theme.

Download Here

Once downloaded and extracted you have to install the color into your terminal. I installed Solarized Dark into iTerm2.

iTerm2 Solarized

Double clicking will install it.

Next you go into iTerm preferences and add it to your profile.

Install Color

I also took it a step further and added a little transparency. Just a personal preference.


Change shell

Next I changed my shell to zsh.

For one the bash shell in OSX is old, and I like the flexibility zsh offers me. Maybe i’ll write more on why I pick zsh in the future. :smile:

chsh -s $(which zsh)

Install oh-my-zsh

I then installed oh-my-zsh. This gives you access to different prompts.

More Info Here

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh/master/tools/install.sh)"

This will possibly prompt you to install XCode CLI tools. If so do that. Then re-run the command.

Set prompt

To edit which one of the prompts you use do:

atom .zshrc

Replacing atom with your editor of choice.

Change the line near the top. That starts with ZSH_THEME


I changed to ys which looks like this:

ZSH Prompt

Using source ~/.zshrc will reload your zsh config.

Setup git Info

You’ll be reminded at some point to do this. But good to go ahead and set this. :smile:

git config --global user.email "you@example.com"
git config --global user.name "Your Name"

Install misc other things

I used brew to install a few things I used frequently

brew install nodejs tmux ansible

Also I needed jekyll to write blog posts. :smile:

gem install jekyll


Great OS. Lots of tools for developers. If you have some program you can’t live with out. Would be glad to hear it.